This place is like no other. The Everglades National Park was established in 1947, it is one of the countrys most celebrated natural areas. This national park, and world heritage site is a vast, tranquil wildlife reserve situated only a one hour drive from the cosmopolitan city of Miami
. The Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, encompassing 1.5 million acres of tropical and subtropical habitat, and is home to one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems.
The Everglades are a mixture of freshwater and coastal prairie, mangroves, marshland, pine and cypress wood, these five different habitats attract a diverse range of wildlife. The most notable animals found within the Everglades include alligators, crocodiles, manatees, key deer, otters, a range of birds and the Florida panther.
Florida’s Everglades are the perfect destination for a family, couple or group of friends that are looking for an unforgettable adventure away from the theme parks and attractions of Orlando and the hustle and bustle of Miami. The untouched Florida Everglades offer some of the most unique attractions and activities in the entirety of the Sunshine State.
The Everglades National Park should definitely be on your Florida holiday bucket list, this subtropical wilderness is a spectacle like no other.
For the nature and wildlife lovers among you the Everglades National Park should be at the top of your Florida must see list. Covering 2,500 square miles, it’s hard to get your head around the fact that one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems is located just a short drive from the metropolitan city of Miami.
The Everglades are home to more than 750 animal species. The complex habitats within the Everglades are home to 14 of the world’s most endangered animals, the Florida panther and the West Indian manatee for example. It is also the only place on earth that is home to both alligators and crocodiles, this is due to the diverse habitat including both freshwater and saltwater regions allowing them to coexist.
This World Heritage site is the ideal destination for families, couples and friends that love the great outdoors and are seeking a hearty adventure.
From airboat rides and wildlife tours, to hiking one of the many trails, or canoeing and kayaking through the marshes, the Florida Everglades has something for everyone to enjoy, providing endless possibilities for entertainment!
Below we highlight some of our favourite trails for you to explore on your trip to the Everglades, each of these offer a unique perspective of the park’s diverse ecosystem.
The Anhinga Trail
The Everglades can be enjoyed on foot, such as the Anhinga Trail - this is a half mile boardwalk that is raised off the ground. This short but sweet trail winds through the Everglades giving guests the chance to admire swamps, wooded areas and open areas of the habitat. Visitors that take this trail get to see wildlife up close often spotting alligators sunbathing nearby, birds flying overhead and turtles wading around.
Shark Valley consists of a paved trail that visitors can stroll or cycle along to enjoy the wild surroundings. From the trail you can see alligators and birds in their natural habitat. If walking or cycling isn’t for you then you can take a tram ride through the park with a guide to share their knowledge of the Everglades and the creatures that reside there.
The trail of Shark Valley is 15 miles long with an observation tower at the end of trail, where visitors are able to enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the park at 65ft and observe the wildlife below and beyond.
The Mahogany Hammock can be a great way to end your visit at the Everglades National Park. Visitors can walk across the boardwalk through dense trees and get to know more about the birds, the beautiful trees and plants of Everglades. On this short stroll you can visit the largest living mahogany tree in the country. The 20 minute walk in the ‘jungle’ like forest is definitely worth the stop to stretch your legs and admire the natural beauty.
The Everglades national park offers visitors the opportunity to camp in both frontcountry and backcountry campsites, backcountry campsites are located away from the road and accessible by foot or boat. Camping in the Everglades is one of the best ways to explore the beauty and wildlife that the park has to offer - the deeper into the wilderness you go, the more opportunities.
The two frontcountry campsites in the Everglades include Long Pine Key Campground and Flamingo Campground, these sites offer drinking water, restrooms and grills.
The Everglades has a number of backcountry camping sites - ground, beach and elevated sites are available across the park, however most of these sites are only accessible by canoe, kayak or boat. The majority of these sites are located in the Ten Thousand Islands, you need to receive permits for these sites that are issued the day before or the day of your trip. Backcountry camping is for those nature and adventure lovers among you.
Everglades on the water
One third of the Everglades National Park is covered by water, this creates an excellent opportunity for visitors to explore the natural beauty of the park by canoe, kayak or boat, through the freshwater marshes, mangrove trees and open waters.
If you’re seeking to explore the most untouched areas of the Everglades National Park, rent a canoe or kayak for the day. This way you can immerse yourself into the park to enjoy the sights, sounds and creatures of the Everglades.
One of our favourite spots for water tours is Flamingo, located at the end of the road in the Everglades National Park. From this quaint small Floridian village you can explore the backcountry waters of Florida Bay, where the Everglades meet the ocean. From this location you get to experience the Everglades in a different light amongst the coastal mangroves, keep an eye out for alligators, manatees, dolphins and salt water crocodiles.
If you’re travelling through the Gulf Coast side of the Everglades then make sure that you rent a canoe or kayak to explore the waters of Ten Thousand Islands. This region is a labyrinth of mangrove islands and waterways that are home to an abundance of wildlife.
Boating is a popular way to experience the Everglades, take a guided boat tour from Flamingo or the Gulf Coast to learn about and get up close to the park’s wild wonders.
One of the best ways to explore the everglades is on an airboat, this offers you the chance to see the wonders and beauty of the Everglades from the water. This is a fun and exciting way to experience the world heritage site.
The one and only Everglades has many adventures to offer and entertain all visitors. From talking a short walk on one of the many trails to spotting wildlife from a 65ft observation tower, or why not glide through the waterways on a rented canoe for your chance to glimpse a crocodile, manatee or dolphin up close. Visit the Everglades to spend the day hiking, biking, boating or adventuring in the raw wilderness with an abundance of wildlife.